tuna & white bean salad

$1.88 recipe / $0.63 serving

The hardest part about cooking and testing so many recipes (for the upcoming cookbook) is that I get full after a few bites, but my taste buds still scream for more! I wanted to eat this whole bowl…

This recipe is as easy as 1,2,3… literally. Just mix it all together, adjust to your taste buds and you’ve got a protein packed lunch ready to go. You can eat this salad plain with a fork, top crackers with it, stuff it inside of a pita pocket, or scoop some over top of a bed of spinach. Anyway you serve it, it’s super tasty!

One thing to consider with this recipe is the quality of beans and tuna. I chose the most inexpensive options for both, and it showed. The flavor was still top notch, but the beans were falling apart and the tuna was lumps of mush rather than large chunks of tuna meat. So, if you like things to be pretty, make sure to get high quality beans and tuna. :)

You can use any type of white beans you like – great northern, navy, butter beans, whatever. They’ll all add an element of “creaminess” without having heavy mayo!

Tuna & White Bean Salad

Tuna and White Bean Salad

5.0 from 2 reviews

tuna & white bean salad
Prep time
Total time
Total Cost: $1.88
Cost Per Serving: $0.63
Serves: 3
  • 1 (15 oz.) can white beans $0.86
  • 1 (5 oz.) can chunk light tuna in water $0.79
  • 2 whole green onions $0.12
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.06
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
  • to taste salt & pepper $0.05
  1. Pour the can of beans into a colander and rinse with cool water. Allow the excess water to drain off. Drain the can of tuna. Combine the drained beans and tuna in a bowl. Thinly slice the green onions and add to the bowl as well.
  2. Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl, along with a light sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your liking.

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Step By Step Photos

drained and rinsedDrain and rinse the white beans. Drain the tuna and thinly slice the green onions. Combine all three in a bowl.

seasonAdd the olive oil, lemon juice, a light sprinkle of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. I like pepper a lot, so I added probably about 20 cranks of the pepper mill.

stirStir everything together and then adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can see how the tuna and beans were kind of falling apart, which makes it not so pretty. Higher quality beans will stay intact and higher quality tuna will be more chunky than mushy. But it tasted great all the same!

Tuna and White Bean salad


  1. Tuna and bean sounds like such a perfect Mediterranean salad. :) I also must tell you that I now really, really want a box of Trscuits!

  2. This looks incredible. I think I may add in a tiny bit of relish and spicy brown mustard, because both my husband and I are mustard fiends. I never ever thought to make a tuna salad with beans! What a delicious way to add a bit more protein and a bunch of fiber. Beth, you’re a genius.

  3. Dixie G says:

    This looks awesome! And it makes me (a known mayo-hater) very happy to have something healthier to substitute with!

  4. Been doing this for years (learned from Mom) using canellini beans, white wine vinegar, olive oil packed tuna (no extra oil needed and, sorry, it really tastes soooooo much better than water packed, which is sawdust in a can), diced red onion, salt and pepper, and fresh thyme leaves to taste.

  5. Purrlgurrl – Love it! That version sounds even easier and tastier!

  6. Funnily, I’ve found that store-brand or generic-brand tuna is often higher-quality in terms of chunk size than the brand-name tuna (Chicken of the Sea, Starkist.) So maybe do a little comparison shopping at your local grocery store before you decide to get the stuff in vacuum packs. :)

  7. You used the cheapest products for your ingredients and yet the pictures of your creation look beautiful…

  8. wow! this recipe looks delicious! i am so glad to have found you…our websites are very common. i look forward to more of your recipes. :)

  9. So yummy looking!

  10. cindy says:

    Didn’t miss the mayo at all with this. Made 2 very tasty quesadillas (thinking one wouldn’t be enough) and was so full! This is now my new favorite super-quickie meal. Thanks, Beth! :)

  11. janmaus says:

    LOVE this no mayo tuna salad version. I don’t care for raw onions of any variety, so subbed finely diced celery for a bit of crunch–would have used fresh radishes for a sharper taste had I any in my fridge–no added salt because canned beans are loaded and we are trying hard to reset our tastes to the new guidelines of only 1500 mg of sodium per day. Thanks for another taste and budget winner!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Had it for lunch/added diced celery, more onions (next time I will use red onion fine dice) and a little more olive oil and lemon juice. LOVE IT!! Thank you for another superb recipe.

  13. Shannon says:

    Thank you for posting this, Beth! I think I’m going to try this with the suggestions from purrlgurrl. I have some leftover white wine vinegar that I’ve been wondering what to do with, so this is perfect! Beth, here’s another bean salad recipe that you might be interested in. It’a a black eyed pea salad with sriracha vinaigrette…very yummy: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/3172

  14. Shannon – I love you right now! That looks like the best salad I’ve ever seen! I can’t wait to make my own version! :D

  15. Anonymous says:

    This was great! I was out of green onion, so I added some onion powder. I had some leftover cilantro, so I threw it in there for color and brightness and it was incredible. I threw mine into a whole grain wrap with some fresh spinach and sliced tomatoes – good stuff. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Amanda Wrege says:

    So simple and so fast. Really delicious!! I did accidentally eat the entire recipe in one sitting though :)

  17. Anonymous says:

    I just made this because I happened to have everything on hand (minus the lemon) and it was fantastic! I didn’t even have enough green onion according to the recipe, so I’ll definitely try it again with the lemon juice and more onion…still awesome, and so fresh without the mayo :) Thanks, Beth!

  18. easy recipes says:

    I thought this was bland because it lacked color. Well, it tasted really great.

  19. Made this with dried beans. Fantastic! Will keep as a regular in my rotation.

  20. quick meals for dinner says:

    Was looking for really quick and healthy dinner recipes since I usually come home late and this is one of the really wonderful and easy recipes I’ve come across. Time and money saver! But tastes great nonetheless.

  21. Amanda Wrege says:

    Ok, making this for the 2nd time already… this is a perfect HIGH PROTEIN post workout lunch. Just wanted to say that. :)

  22. This would be great in a wrap I am going to add it to our meal plan for the upcoming week. It’s budget friendly, too!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I saw this on Pinterest. It’s a great recipe! I subbed blue cheese dressing for the lemon juice and added dried cranberries and extra green onions.


  24. So simple! So yummy! Good to keep a batch in the fridge for when you just need a bite of something to tide you over. Thanks!

  25. Sarah says:

    Hi, do you think it’s okay to make this the day before?


  26. jess says:

    Hi Beth! I have been a fan for a while now and have made many of your recipes. But i think this is my first time commenting. I loved this recipe, simple and quick when you are hungry and have not many options in the fridge :) I only switched the type of bean because I didnt have the white bean but it was delicious no matter what.

    Thank you

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